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Everton v Ruzomberok Betting: Toffees to deliver convincingly in first test

Having built up expectations with some high-profile signings, Al Hain-Cole expects the Toffees to add to the excitement with a convincing win

Everton will return to competitive action at Goodison Park on Thursday, when they take on Ruzomberok in a Europa League qualification clash.

Having won nine of their last home games of the Premier League season, the Toffees are overwhelming 1/10 (1.10) favourites with bet365 to put one foot in the group stages of this competition by coming out on top here.

Norbert Hrncar’s have seen off Serbia’s Vojvodina and SK Brann of Norway to reach this stage, but are 16/1 (17.00) outsiders to record a shock win against their English opponents.

None of the hosts’ last 10 home matches in Europe have resulted in a draw, but you can get odds of 9/1 (10.00) on this one finishing up all square.

While it is not ideal to start the season in July, this game at least allows the home fans an early chance to see their new recruits in action.

An exciting summer of transfer business has so far seen big money spent on Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane and Davy Klaassen among others, while the return of Wayne Rooney has also provided a touch of star quality.

With the mood around the club as optimistic as any time in recent memory, Goodison Park is likely to be sold out for the return of competitive football.

Fortunately, the crowd should be in for an enjoyable evening as Ronald Koeman’s reinforced team take on a side that exceeded expectations to finish third in the Slovakian top flight last season.

More accustomed to mid-table in recent years, Ruza’s overperformance saw top-scorer Jakub Mares picked off by Slovan Bratislava at the end of the campaign.

Having kicked off the new league season on Sunday with a defeat against a Zlate Moravce team that finished second from bottom last time out, it seems they may struggle to sustain last year’s levels.

All in all, odds of 4/5 (1.80) seem generous on a new-look Everton boosting the mood even further by winning both halves in a convincing display against modest opposition.

Everton to win both halves at 4/5 (1.80) for a 1pt stake with bet365

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